New Zealand’s first reported neurologic equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) outbreak has claimed several equine victims on the one affected property. As of Feb. 2, 13 horses on the property had been affected by neurologic EHV-1, Andre van Halderen, principal advisor for the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), told The Horse via e-mail received Feb. 7.

"Of the 13 horses, seven have been euthanized," he said. "The other affected horses are receiving supportive care."

No new cases have been reported on the property since Feb. 2, van Halderen said; still, the MPI is working closely with the New Zealand equine industry and the affected property.

"MPI is investigating movement of horses on and off the affected property; however, it is likely that the origin of the virus on this property may never be known," he explained. "It could have arrived relatively recently, or it may be that the disease was triggered in a horse that had been a latent carrier for a long time."

Van Halderen said the farm’s owner has voluntarily quarantined the affected areas and put the following biosecurity measures in place:

  • No routine procedures involving handling of the animals have been conducted on the stud farm;
  • There are five affected paddocks on the stud farm and no one has entered these paddocks since Jan. 20;
  • The farm has provided disinfection footbaths and overboots; and
  • Personnel handling the sick animals are showering afterward.